Nephila Pilipes

The Giant Silk Orb Weaver – Nephila Pilipes

Once upon a time, inside the Ratapani Sanctuary, there was a jungle named Amjhiari. It was quite the removed place; very few of the human species ever dared to enter its dominion and it wasn’t difficult to understand why. It was the home of Giant Wood Spiders – thousands upon thousands of this species spun their webs here. These were no ordinary webs either; spanning themselves wide and high between the trees of the jungle, these webs could snare any living being off its feet! Sticky like nothing else, huge like nothing else, and terrifying like nothing else when there was a spider on it.

Team Junoon had nothing to fear, though. The moment we came to know about the beauty of this jungle, we decided to check it out. It was the month of October and our ventures into the Amjhiari jungle led us to this ginormous Nephila Pilipes, hanging grimly down its web of doom, daring us to pass through. Its sheer size caught us off-guard – we had not anticipated for it to be as huge as a grown man’s palm!

Nephila Pilipes

Anyway, completing our assigned missions inside that forest we came back to our camp wanting to find out more about this Nephila Pilipes that we had spotted. Turns out this spider is venomous – but not fatal to humans. Its sting does cause swelling, pain and blistering for a day or two, but it won’t kill you. The more common name for them is the Giant Silk Orb Weavers for the kind of webs they spin. They’re active from September to December, which explains how we spotted them in October. The Nephila Pilipes are only a subspecies of the Giant Wood Spider genus – there were countless other subspecies dangling around in the Amjhiari Jungle! We also found out that the males of this species are significantly smaller than the females. In the pic shown, you see a female Nephila Pilipes.

Our encounter with these terrifyingly amazing eight-legged beasts was one full of thrill and adrenaline. Have you spotted one lately?